Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Categories of Knowledge

There are the known unknowns and then there are the unknown unknowns, it has been famously said. There are also the known knowns that aren't so and the unknown knowns that we know about but haven't noticed that we know them. The known knowns that are so make up the smallest category of knowledge. The unknown unknowns is the largest.

Then there's the unknowable. There are some things (most things in the universe) that we are too stupid to grasp. We can't even conceive of questions to ask about them let alone comprehend the answers. God is mostly unknowable. What we think we know about God is mostly wrong or just plain inadequate to describe God. Our metaphors don't really work. Pulling Leviathan out of the water with a fish hook is not a big deal for God as impressive at it was for Job. God knows we're stupid, so it shouldn't be held against us.

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